What is it about winning golf’s oldest major and celebrating by mowing grass with a new tractor?
That’s what 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen did when he won by seven shots at St. Andrews, splashing out some of his £850,000 first prize to buy a new John Deere tractor to mow the grass on his South African farm.
Now we’ve learnt 151st Open Champion Brian Harman will celebrate capturing a maiden major by jumping aboard his new tractor to mow the grass on his 40-acre property at Sea Island in Georgia.
It was when the six-shot American winner at Royal Liverpool was asked how he planned to celebrate his victory that Harman revealed his delight in heading home and also jumping about his new tractor.
“I’ll be on the tractor mowing grass in the next few weeks, so I’m excited about that,” he said smiling.
Much had been made of Harman’s hobby of hunting, using a bow and arrow rather than a rifle to capture wild animals, including deer and turkeys, and thus earning the nickname of the ‘Butcher of Hoylake’ in the British tabloids.
But, after holding off the likes of Spain’s Jon Rahm, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and England’s Tommy Fleetwood, Harman says hunting down major championship trophies is now his main focus.
“I love to hunt but I couldn’t go hunting every day. I could play golf every day,” said the new World No. 10 who also became a first left-handed golfer in 11-years to win at the game’s highest level.
“To win what I consider is the greatest prize in golf, it’s as good as it gets.”
However, it was not all plain sailing for the American having to retain his composure in front of an overwhelming England crowd intent in not holding back in their support for local hero Tommy Fleetwood, as they sought to witness the end of a 31-year wait for an English-born winner of golf’s oldest major. And that local support sadly included some over-the-top nasty comments directed at the pint-sized American.
Though Harman revealed too how he drew strength from the negative remarks.
“A guy, when I was passing him, said ‘Harman, you don’t have the stones for this’. That helped,” Harman revealed after being handed the Claret Jug.
“It helped snap me back into I’m good enough to do this. I’m going to do this. I’m going to go through my process, and the next shot is going to be good. ou know, I’m not going to give any more — I shouldn’t have given him credit right there (smiling).
“Yeah, just the resilience, just knowing — I knew I was going to make — I figured at some point that I was going to hit bad shots.
“Just with the weather and the scenario, you’re going to hit bad shots. I knew that the way I responded to that would determine whether I’d be sitting here or not”.
Harman, who had not won on the PGA Tour since 2017, also talked of the jeering when he stepped on to the first tee on Sunday.
“You had Fleetwood and Rory making a run. It’s fine. Everybody has got their team they’re rooting for,” said the Ryder Cup hopeful, who takes home a winning prize pot of £2.3m.
“I heard them. But if they wanted me to not play well they should have been really nice to me.”
And there was a great last question to end Harman’s champions press conference when he was asked if he thought that he would one day win a major championship.
“I had a lot of success as a junior golfer. I won the U.S. Junior, and then as an amateur I was the No.1 ranked amateur in the world for a good while, was the youngest American to get picked for the Walker Cup. I had success. Like I had the pedigree,” he said.
“Then I got to college and it just kind of sputtered a little bit. I just didn’t keep up with the — I didn’t keep up with the progression.
“My pro career has been really good at times and not good at times.
“Last year felt like I kind of found something a little bit, and yeah, man, I’m just — I don’t know. It’s been great.”
Well said Brian and congratulations to the new Open Champion.